- LATIN AMERICA
- MIDDLE EAST
- United Kingdom
- United States
- New Zealand
- South Africa
- iHaveNet.com: Politics
by Cal Thomas
May 9, 2011
First quarter profits for American oil companies are jaw dropping.
In March, when visiting South America, President Obama promised that the United States would help Brazil develop its offshore resources. But he won't allow much new drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, or Alaska. So we are going to help Brazil drill for oil, and then import it? Gas prices have nearly doubled since Obama's inauguration and yet the media don't blame him for it, as they blamed his predecessor when prices soared to current levels.
What about taxes? Oil companies are already heavily taxed. According to the energy research firm Wood Mackenzie, between 1998 and 2008, the oil and gas industry paid
Wood Mackenzie also found that should taxes be increased on oil companies by
As for those large profits, the
This administration gives lip service to the successful, while punishing them and subsidizing the unsuccessful. If the president is serious about reducing the cost of oil (and given candidate Obama's frequent statements in favor of increased energy prices to force more of us (but not him) to drive hybrid, even electric cars -- he can emulate George W. Bush.
In July 2008, President Bush lifted an executive order banning offshore drilling, a token gesture since a federal ban on offshore drilling remained in place, but his action caused oil prices to drop, as suppliers believed we were getting serious about obtaining more oil from domestic sources. The argument from the anti-drilling side is that new drilling projects would have no effect because of the time it takes to find and then refine the oil. If new drilling had begun five or 10 years ago we would be pumping far more oil than we are now. If we begin now, in five or 10 years we'll see the results.
Demonizing the oil companies won't produce one more drop of oil. Neither will higher taxes, which will affect employment and create many more negative consequences.
Last week, former President George W. Bush reiterated his support for more drilling: "I would suggest Americans understand how supply and demand works. And if you restrict supplies of crude, the price of oil is going to go up."
President Obama either doesn't understand supply and demand, or he is deliberately ignoring it in hopes of imposing his radical environmental views on us all.
More Taxes on Big Oil? | Politics
© Tribune Media Services, Inc